How to Plan a Bridal Shower

A bridal shower is a special event to celebrate a bride-to-be on their upcoming marriage, usually held anywhere from three weeks to three months before the wedding. As with any event, planning a bridal shower includes setting a budget, choosing a date and venue, inviting guests and planning an event theme, food, activities, etc. 

Who Plans a Bridal Shower?

Often hosted by the bridesmaids, and/or the mother of the bride, a bridal shower is a time to share advice and stories, and shower the bride-to-be with attention and thoughtful gifts. Today, it’s common and perfectly acceptable for anyone up to the task, including the bride’s mom to host this celebration. Unless it’s a total surprise, the bride being showered generally provides some idea of what they’d like at their event, and then it’s up to the host or hosts to use that input to bring the shower to life.

Traditionally bridal showers were special gatherings for women only, however, co-ed showers are becoming more common, especially if there are bridesmen in the bridal party. For a Jack and Jill style shower, all genders are invited, including close male friends, and both the groom and his dad may make an appearance to mingle and thank guests for their well wishes and gifts. Ultimately it’s up to the bride and couple how they’d like to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. 

A bridal shower and wedding shower are both pre-wedding events and easily confused; a bridal shower is a small gathering that focuses on the bride, while family and friends gather to honor the couple at a wedding shower. Simply put, a bridal shower is thrown for the bride, and a wedding shower for the couple; the two events can also be combined and thrown as one. Unlike a bachelorette party, where guests usually pay for their own food and activities, a bridal shower is planned and paid for by the host(s). 

How to Plan a Bridal Shower

The first step to plan a bridal shower is to create a budget which includes food and drinks, decorations, the venue, photography, and other vendors or expenses. These costs are usually covered by whomever is hosting, or split between hosts, so it’s important to have a clear budget before you start planning. Typically, the event is held four to six weeks before the wedding; if guests are traveling from out of town, it makes sense to have it closer to the wedding, the trick is not to plan it too far in advance or too close to the wedding date.

Get a must-invite list from the bride and have them double-check it before you commit to a venue and send out invites. Next is to choose a location that fits the theme and size of your party such as an event venue, a restaurant, winery, spa, park, or someone’s home. Any time of day is acceptable for a bridal shower, some are a late morning brunch, others are held during the afternoon or early evening as a luncheon or dinner party. The time of day of the shower also determines what type and how much food and drink you need to provide. 

If the bride is a wine lover or a cooking connoisseur, or has a favorite food, a signature drink, or favorite color, you could select a theme for the event which also helps guide food and decor choices and sometimes the location. Whatever the menu, make sure it’s something the bride likes and includes options for potential food restrictions guests can note on their RSVPs. Give guests as much notice as possible with their invitation, and if there will be games and/or activities, it’s nice to inform guests so they can dress and plan accordingly. 

Historic Acres sits along beautiful rolling hills and offers a variety of stunning settings indoors or outside, for any event. If you’re looking for the perfect venue for your bridal shower in Hershey, PA, contact our team today to learn more about our event spaces, available dates, and more.